Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy 15th (?!) Birthday MK!

15 years ago I clearly remember the entire family being sick with the stomach flu. As I was cleaning up someone's barf I had my first contraction. It was 12 days before my due date. Bruce was an hour away at work. He got home and even though I hadn't had another contraction we went over to the hospital to get checked out. I was dilated to 7. Best labor EVER. I got an epidural before I even had a second contraction. They broke my water and voila, out came Miss Mary Katherine Nielson. All 9 pound 9 and 1/2 ounces of her. She was my second biggest baby (Tom was 9 lbs 11 oz) but has become my most petite child. When she was little, MK was known as Mary the mute. She never said a word to anyone outside of the fam. She wouldn't give a talk in primary until she was 5. Being the 7th child and the baby she pretty much gets whatever she wants. When we were at Safeway we mentioned to the checkout guy that tomorrow was her birthday. He guessed she was turning 12. ha! It's been fun having MK stay so young. She would rather play sports than go to a dance and she is saving me a fortune because unlike her older sisters, she couldn't care less about fashion. Since it's her 15th birthday here are 15 things that would describe MK:

1. Basketball, basketball and basketball
2. Fuzzy socks
3. Field hockey
4. Wrapping her dad around her finger
5. Silly you-tube videos
6. Skinny jeans
7. dunkin donuts after the hair cuttery
8. Eating excruciatingly slowly (although she's gotten faster over the past year)
9. Procrastinating homework
10. Playing in the cul-de-sac
11. Babysitting Miss Gwyneth
12. Not getting any sleep at girls camp
13. Bossing Mikey around
14. Photo shoots with Laura
15. Her fave TV shows: Biggest Loser, I Shouldn't be Alive, Idol, Chopped All Stars, modern family.....
OK, I know this would be #16 but how can I forget her undying love for Justin Bieber??

MK is pretty much the best. So glad she's my baby:)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Other Stuff

It's been long overdue, but today I finally got around to nuking the fridge. It wasn't pretty, but now I have room to jam even more stuff into the back to forget about til next time.

Can I just say how much Mikey is the man? He has lost 30 pounds in the past 5 weeks. He's my inspiration. Although, at my age it will probably take me 30 weeks to lose 5 pounds.

My latest project has been working with the YM of the ward to make quilt stands so that the YW and RS have them on hand. It has required lots of power tools and trips to home depot, but it will be nice to have them and not have to borrow them any more. The boys worked for 2 hours in Bro Kendig's garage under the watchful eye of Bro Neville who taught them how to use a table saw, band saw, miter saw and/or power sanders. They needed to make 16 of each of these pieces:Ripping boards with the table saw:
Using the miter saw for a nice angle:
The deacons stayed busy sanding the wood and labeling each piece.Bro Kendig doing his thing with the band saw:
All in all about 50 man hours went into the project. And when I say man I mean stud. The guys were all awesome to donate their time:) Especially with mulch madness looming this weekend! A big thanks also goes out to Bruce who made sure the boys got some chick-fil-a beforehand a to keep them happy. Even though it was cold (45 degrees) and we blew a fuse, everyone went home with all of their fingers so I'd say it was a huge success:)

PS: Here's a sneak peak of my latest quilting project:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Musings on a late winter morning: Full Circle

Back in the day before we barely had 2 cents to rub together Bruce would say that we spent too much over the holidays and that it was time to go into austerity mode. This would last approximately 11 months out of the year. Those days of endless diaper changes (cloth of course!--disposables cost a fortune) seemed to last for quite some time. I remember the first time we ordered pizza was after we'd been married for 15 years. When most of our friends were driving spanking new mini vans we were still diving around in our old dilapidated caprice classic station wagon. Ain't she a beaut? Ours was even this color, except that it was pretty rusty and usually had a missing hub cap. What with 5 little rug rats to contend with and extremely limited funds I figured I had better find some super inexpensive creative outlets. So I learned how to quilt and knit. I was completely self taught because, silly, classes cost money! After some practice, I could crank out a baby sweater for under $5. Over those lean years I made dozens upon dozens of them to give as baby gifts because it was really the only thing we could afford that would make for a presentable gift. I would plan quilts and measure the fabric out to the inch so as to not waste a single scrap. I would hand quilt every square inch of them. But now that we have a little extra money the possibilities are endless. I have turned into a designer fabric snob. I mail my quilt tops to Utah to get them machine quilted. In recent years when I've had a baby shower to go to I've found myself at the mall hunting down the perfect matching outfit and spending way too much on something that will be grown out of in about 6 months. Now that the economy isn't all that great and we have college and weddings to pay for, I've sort of come full circle. I guess I've always known that less is more. So I'm back to knitting sweaters (now the yarn costs about $15) and my latest quilt project is old timey and hand pieced. It's nice to save money and it's all so much more personal this way.